Saturday, August 25, 2007


Last week The Washington Post had a front-page article that said, “Elderly Staying Sexually Active.” Well, duh, maybe next week they can publish a study that says the elderly still enjoy eating. Elderly is defined in the article as anyone over the age of fifty-seven. Why would anyone assume people quit enjoying sex just because they have gotten older? I just don’t understand why this article seems to report surprise at the behavior of us old folks. Now, I haven’t done any scientific research, but I can share a lot of anecdotal evidence that indicates this report is correct.

I remember talking with my mom during a visit to celebrate Mom and Dad’s fiftieth anniversary. She smiled sweetly and said to me, “Honey, when you’re eighty, it takes longer, but we have more time.” I blushed and she grinned and said that she just wanted to give me hope for the future. Since we are now nearing seventy, I find that a happy thought.

Several years ago a young co-worker of mine learned my husband and I were celebrating our fortieth anniversary. She asked if it would be OK to ask me a personal question and I said sure. She wanted to know “How do you kiss the same man for forty years?” She blushed when I replied, “All kinds of ways, Sweetie, All kinds of ways.”

An older co-worker, a seventy year old widow, once told me, “You know I sure would love to have the chance once more to have a night of wild sex. I miss sex.”

I remember a sweet little old man who came into our doctor’s office every month to get his testosterone shot. He always came on a Friday so he would be ready for the weekend. One day he came in for his appointment and I asked if he were there for his usual shot. He looked down and said, “No Ma’am, I think I got me the clap.”

How about you? Have you got any good anecdotes to support the conclusion of this article?

For another point of view on this article check out my daughter’s blog.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Both my daughters are members of BNI, a business networking organization. This group has lunch together every week and tries to help one another make their various businesses succeed. It is an interesting and varied bunch. The thing they have in common is that they all have a business and are trying hard to make it successful. There were bankers, accountants and photographers. I met the owner of an art gallery and the owner of a hair salon. My older daughter owns an Abrakadoodle franchise and runs art camps and various other art education programs for children. My younger daughter is a columnist for the local paper and also for a local magazine called Suburban Scene. As part of their meetings one of the members gives an infomercial about their business and another member shares something about their personal life. Today my daughters decided to team up and tell something about their personal life. They brought me for Show& Tell. "This is our mom. We brought her because we figured if you met her you could figure out why we are the way we are." I told a few cute stories (Not the embarrassing ones) and everyone laughed. it was a lot of fun
Has anyone ever brought you in for show & Tell?

Now a shameless plug for my daughter. She maintains a blog for the magazine that discusses life as a single person living in suburbia. Her topics range from dating problems when you have three kids at home to how to eat a healthy diet when you are cooking for only one. She would love to have more readers and more commenters. She would especially like to have older singles participate. check her out at Suburban Singles.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


This is the first week of school in my town. My grandkids are excited to be starting a new school year.

This picture is dated September 16, 1946. It is a picture of me on my first day of school. I started nearly a month later in the year the kids here are starting their school year. Notice my little school bag. I never owned a backpack. I don’t remember ever having homework until I was in high school. Of course I wore a dress. Girls wore dresses. I hated my shoes, but my mother was a firm believer in good supportive shoes for children. No sneakers or flip-flops for me. I walked to school, about 2 blocks to Lincoln Elementary. I loved kindergarten and my teacher, Miss Simmons. Our classroom had a big fishpond built into a bay window alcove. It was made of tile with a wide bench around the top. I used to sit there and watch the fish. The playground was at the foot of a small hill. One day I ran down the hill straight into the merry-go-round and got a bloody nose when I hit it. My mom had to come and take me home. I went to school all day, but I always walked home for lunch. My Mom was always home to fix my lunch before I walked back to school. My older brother was a crossing guard. He took his job very seriously. He would stand with his arms held out to prevent us from crossing until he deemed it was safe. Then he would say, “There are no cars in sight. You may cross.” I was very proud of him.

What memories do you have of your early school days?

Monday, August 20, 2007

County Fair

Last week my grandson and I went to the county fair. We rode the carnival rides, played some games of chance, ate meat on a stick, and wondered through some of the barns to admire the different animals. It was a fun end of summer thing to do. He fell asleep on the way home and my mind wondered back to another day at a county fair.

It was August 1959. I was eighteen years old, a new high school graduate planning to start nursing school in the fall. I was dressed and waiting for my date to pick me up and take me to the Los Angeles County fair. I was a little nervous because this was a blind date that had been set up by my mother and my date’s mother. They taught school together and thought we should meet. He arrived and I was relieved that he was not ugly. He was six feet tall and had a cute little nose. At the fair we wandered through several of the exhibition tents. The only exhibit I actually remember was a vacuum cleaner display that sucked up metal balls and then shot them out in an elaborate track of turns and drops. I don’t know why that vacuum cleaner made such an impression. Later we rode on several carnival rides. I noticed his collar was folded funny and reached over and straightened his collar. After going through a fun house I felt a little wobbly and he reach over and took my hand to steady me.

Forty-eight years later I am still trying to straighten his collar and he still taking my hand when I feel wobbly.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Starry Night

Last night we joined a group of friends for an evening of star gazing on a quiet beach on the bay. My husband the astronomer brought his telescope and as evening fell we looked through the telescope. I saw Jupiter with four of its moons circling around it. Then he turned the telescope to the moon. I could see the craters and mountains on the moon. It was amazing. After we all had time to enjoy the wonders of seeing the heavens through the telescope we spread our blankets on the sand and lie down and just enjoyed the night sky. As we lay on the sand more and more stars became visible. We found several constellations. The ancients must have had very good imaginations to see dolphins, flying horses, and bears in the patterns of the stars, but those same stars named so long ago are the same stars we saw last night. The Milky Way was visible stretching all the way across the sky. When we pulled out the binoculars we could see a gray patch that was the Andromeda Galaxy, a whole other galaxy full of billions and billions of stars. We saw several shooting stars falling to earth. Pondering the vastness of the sky and universe it demonstrates is an awesome and humbling experience.

“The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”

Psalm 19:1

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Shark Teeth

Millions of years ago there was a warm shallow sea teeming with sharks. As the eons passed the sea receded and became what is now the Chesapeake Bay. The sharks died and their teeth became fossils that embedded themselves in the cliffs lining the shores of the bay.

Yesterday we spent the day enjoying the beach on the Chesapeake Bay. It was a perfect beach day with sunshine and soft breezes. The shallow warm water was teeming with laughing children. The sand contained the fossilized teeth of those long gone sharks. My nine-year-old granddaughter sat in one spot and quietly collected hundreds of small shark teeth. It was a peaceful Zen-like moment for her. The other children used strainers and fingers to sift the sand and search for teeth in a contest of who could find the biggest and the best tooth. One beach-goer had found a large tooth, about two inches long, and the kids were all hoping to find another big one. Most teeth were small, but the search for fossils made a day at the beach an exciting history lesson.

What places do you take children where they can have a wonderful day of play that includes great lessons in nature and history?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Boys

For the past few months my beloved has wanted to buy one of the new hybrid cars. He hadn’t quite been able to justify the expense of a new car until this past weekend. A brilliant idea struck and he is now the happy owner of a shiny red Toyota Camry hybrid. It has all sorts of wonderful gadgets run by its computerized engine. He is so excited trying to figure out just how it all works. It’s Christmas in August for him.

The brilliant idea that justified this expense is our eighteen-year-old grandson. He will be starting classes at the local community college in two weeks and really needs a car to get back and forth to school. This boy is now the proud owner of our old ’92 Ford pick up truck. It is already dinged up and is a very manly looking vehicle for this handsome young man. It is Christmas in August for him too.

Isn’t it wonderful when you can find a wonderful solution to justify getting the new thing that you want!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” This photo taken after lunch today is a picture of my heart and my treasure.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Yesterday was hot. The temperature here reached 102 degrees, breaking the record for that date. Walking out of the house felt like stepping into a steam bath. A thick haze that made it just miserable outside had replaced the sky. I retreated into my cool air-conditioned house and wondered how people survived before air-conditioning.

Actually I do remember hot summer days before air-conditioning. My grandparents lived in Texas and every summer we loaded up the car, left California, and headed into the heat. We always stopped in Needles, California at the edge of the Mojave Desert. There we got a big burlap bag that was designed to hang in front of the car’s radiator. It was filled with water and when the wind passed through the water bag and cooled the car’s engine. We didn’t want the radiator to boil over in the desert. Dad also rented a window cooler. It was a device that hung in the passenger window. It had a water tank that the wind passed through and blew cool, moist air into the car. It all actually worked rather well.

We arrived in the sweltering heat of the Texas summer and ran into my grandmother’s kitchen. She had a large fan in the window with a shelf built in front of it. The shelf held a block of ice that was replaced daily. The fan blowing over the ice kept her kitchen quite comfortable. The rest of the house was like an oven. We had fans that moved the air, but it was always hot. I remember wonderful summers spent in the hot backyard. We drank enormous amounts of iced tea and Dr Pepper. We ate watermelon fresh from the field. My cousins and I played and ran through the sprinkler. The heat was just part of life. The picture was taken in Texas when I was eight years old. In the back row are my grandparents and Aunt Dot. My parents are in the middle row flanked by my two older brothers. In the front row is my cousin Kenny and me.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


While we were coming home from our trip to the salt marshes in Cape May our boat was hit by the wake of a bigger boat with a careless captain. We were pitched back and forth pretty hard. Our captain was angry and said it always made him mad when people went sailing through life without ever thinking about what they were leaving behind them. “People should be careful about their wake!” was what he said. I immediately thought of another song sung by the Four Bitchin’ Babes that talks about leaving something beautiful in our wake.

When we had our will done a few months ago the lawyer said the one thing we needed to do now was to write an ethical will or a legacy letter. It is not a legal document. It is a letter of what you what you want to tell your family, the things you want them to hear from you one more time. I’ve been trying to think of what to put into such a letter and I just don’t know what I want to say. Should I just recount some good stories and memories? Should I just tell them how much I love them? Should I talk about faith and hope? What kind of things would you want to hear in a letter from someone you loved? Is it important to write such a letter? Haven’t I already told them all the things I should say?

 "For Carolyn" by Pat Crawford Brown:
 When we were small and ocean waves were high
I'd run across the sand and call
"Please!  Wait for me!"
you waited patiently without a sigh
then hand in hand we'd face each wave
oh, we were so brave back then
do you still wait beyond the wave
and can you hear my rhyme?
if so, I'll wait here on the sand
I promise to be brave
just tell me when it's time
and hold my hand

 "Something Beautiful" by Christine Lavin
 As sad days go it was a bad one
she died way too soon
her friends and her family gathered
like rings around the moon
everybody had a story
how she touched each life
she was a mom, a sister, an aunt, a volunteer,
a grandmother, friend, a wife
her poems and watercolors
were lovingly displayed
beach scenes and summer dreams
 never fade
outside a breeze was swirling
the stars across the sky
inside the grief washed over us
as we said good-bye
    But she left something beautiful in her wake
    as our spirits sink, our voices break
    her work remains for us to see
    her paintings and her poetry
    she left something beautiful here on earth
    we mourn her death, but celebrate her birth
    she’s on a journey we all will someday make
    and look, she left something beautiful in her wake
As bad days go it was a sad one
flowers ringed the room
cousins greeted cousins they haven’t seen
since that wedding back in June
but it was June of 1990
amazing how time flies
we never seem to get together
unless someone marries or someone dies
Remember all those baby pictures?
they’re those teenagers over there
we secretly are thankful no nose rings
or spiky purple hair
they do not remember us
but you know, that’s OK
it's enough that we are here
and reconnecting today
    She left something beautiful in her wake
    they quietly cry, their young hearts ache
    her children’s children, her legacy
    with her paintings and her poetry
    she left something beautiful here on earth
    we mourn her death, but celebrate her birth
    she's sailing where waves never break
    and look, she left something beautiful in her wake
        We have all gone home now
        back to the working grind
        I can't help but think about
        those things we leave behind
        As I sit in traffic
        pound the steering wheel
        inch along this highway
        pray my soul will heal
    You've got to leave something beautiful in your wake
    as you sail on for heaven's sake
    leave something good at the end of each day
    to help us through, light our way
    leave something beautiful we can share
    to make us glad that you are there
    you may drift off course and make mistakes
    but you can still . . . 
    Leave something beautiful in your wake
    keep your spirits up, whatever it takes
    leave something good at the end of the day
    to help us through, to guide our way
    give us something beautiful we can share
    to make us glad that you’re still there
    you may drift off course, and make mistakes
    but you can still leave something beautiful in your wake
    leave something beautiful in your wake . . . 

Monday, August 06, 2007


All professions have a language of their own. Recently my friend John the truck diver had a fun post about trucker lingo. Mark the Webmaster demonstrated some computer lingo on his blog. I was a nurse for many years and speak fluent medical language. Our foster son was a skateboarder and I could understand skate. My first language though is mother tongue. I am a mom. I say the things mothers say. I once heard a song at a concert of the Four Bitchin’ Babes that demonstrates my language well. I know you all understand mother tongue. We’ve heard it all our life.

Mother Tongue

By Camille West

You barely touched the broccoli on your dinner plate
Well, alright just one bite and you can stay up late
Don't tease the baby; you'll make him cry
Because I'm the mother, that's why

Don't fight
I've got eyes in the back of my head.
These are things my mother's mother's
mother's mother said
I learned the language when I was very young
Lately I've been talking in
the mother tongue

Take off your muddy shoes Put the cat down
Here's a tissue; blow your nose Put the cat down
What did you say? Where'd you learn that?
Come back here when I'm talking
Let go of that cat.


Behave at your Grandma's
Be good when I leave
Wipe your nose again-- no, not your sleeve
What's on your cheek? Let me get it
Don't have a fit
It's just a little mommy spit

Friday, August 03, 2007

Cape May

We have had a lovely four days in Cape May, New Jersey. Cape May is the oldest seashore resort in the nation, and it is just adorable. It is full of old Victorian homes, most of which have been converted into bed and breakfasts. There is gingerbread, spindles and froofery on all the houses. Just walking around and looking at all the old homes and gardens is a delight. The beach is beautiful and there are many cute little shops and boutiques to browse through. Wonderful restaurants are everywhere. One evening we took a carriage ride around the historic district and learned all sorts of interesting stories about some of homes and the people who built them. The town has a genteel, peaceful spirit that is very soothing.

Our little bed and breakfast had a wonderful front porch where we ate our delicious breakfast and enjoyed our afternoon tea. The porch was my favorite place to be. I sat and rocked and read my book, but found the parade of passersby to be distracting. There were so many interesting people to watch, so many stories to make up about each of them.

My beloved is a birder. Cape May is one of the top birding spots in the nation because it is a major resting point during the spring and fall migrations. There are as many flocks of birders as there are flocks of birds during those seasons. Summer is the wrong time of year for prime bird watching, but we watched anyway. We took a boat out into the salt marches surrounding the harbor. It was amazing. The gulls were nesting there and we could see thousands of nesting birds and their chicks. There were nesting osprey and herons too. One island was covered in white egrets. It was beautiful. Dennis identified over forty species of birds, including four new lifetime sightings. He was a happy man. In the picture, if you look carefully in the grass, you can see one of the gull chicks next to its mother.

The dolphins swimming along the shore also entertained us.

I think we took everything you suggested we bring, except the bacon. We didn’t seem to need any bacon. Thanks for all your suggestions.